Season six of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has finally dropped on Netflix. This season of the ever-popular comedy based in a police precinct in New York was the first season under the network NBC. It thankfully has kept the same warmth and charm that has arguably made it such a hit with fans since it first aired in 2013.
The sixth season nods at its predecessors by bringing back old characters (such as Caleb the cannibal played by Tim Meadows), referencing old pacts between characters (such as the 1,000 push-up pact) and including classic seasonal episodes such as the Halloween heist. The show has good comedic value, but what makes it unique is its backdrop of navigating Brooklyn’s crime world.
In this season, many of the episodes seem to focus on the characters’ personal lives, or on the shenanigans they get up to in the precinct (honestly, they seem to spend so much of their time playing ridiculous games it could make anyone consider a police career). However, the strongest episodes this season are the ones where clever crime stories are the focus, with the comedy and character’s personal lives bouncing off the detective work taking place. It is these episodes where the creators Dan Goor and Michael Schur’s talent shines through.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has never been afraid to tackle more difficult topics, whether that’s the issues Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) faces by being a black, openly gay police officer, or Sergeant Jeffords’ (Terry Crews) ordeal in season four where he was racially profiled and arrested in his street. The show has successfully tackled these very real and difficult issues whilst remaining comedic and without awkwardness. In this season, there is a truly exceptional scene in episode eight where Sergeant Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) discuss whether to encourage a sexual assault victim to press charges or take hush money from her boss. What follows is an interesting and well-executed conversation about the likelihood of perpetrators of sexual violence being charged in the current justice system. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) also has a mature (for once!) conversation with Amy about the daily challenges she faces being a female sergeant. More comedic shows need to be tackling these serious issues; Brooklyn Nine-Nine does it fantastically.
This season went to town on celebrity guest stars, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ike Barinholtz are just a few examples. Their brief appearances in just one episode feels rushed and a little odd, coming across as a way for the show to have more claims to fame. Furthermore, the ridiculousness of the show seemed to peak in this season, making it seem more unrealistic and over-the-top than other seasons.
That being said, the show has been able to keep up its comedy value throughout and it successfully does what the show has always done; providing uplifting and warming entertainment whilst being able to tackle difficult issues and get in some gruesome crimes. Jake remains the star of the show; boyishly annoying and quick-witted with a big heart.
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